By GARY DOVE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Sophomore Keisha Johnson was proclaimed the "Queen of the Castle" last night by Mount View head coach Yvonne Brown after Johnson scored the winning basket with 5.8 seconds left in the game, as the Lady Golden Knights topped River View 46-45 in a thriller at the Castle.
The contest was the opening round game of the Class AA Region III Section 2 tournament.
Related Coach Brown of the game winner, "I'm glad Keisha was in the right place at the right time and that Ashleigh (Belfiore) was able to see her and get her the ball for the winning shot. Sometimes (with time running out) that doesn't happen, but they did tonight."
The Lady Raiders, who finish the season 6-16, came out strong to open, led by sophomore Kiersten Dority's six first quarter points.
After River View had taken a 7-4 advantage midway through the inaugural frame, the senior Knight duo of Belfiore and Jordan Younger helped vault Mount View on top 12-9 after the initial eight minutes.
Younger scored on a pair of putbacks for the last four points of the first, that featured three ties and a pair of lead changes.
The Lady Golden Knights controlled the second period, allowing River View only two points on free throws, while ringing up a baker's dozen themselves, led by the inside play of Younger and junior Gezelle Brown, who scored five and three respectively during that stanza. Belfiore sank a three ball, and ironically, Keisha Johnson made the final two Mount View points of the half.
"At halftime, we made a decision to go with defense to try and get back in it that way," related River View head coach Gehrig Justice. "We went to a full court press and tried to cause turnovers."
The Lady Raiders trimmed five points off that halftime deficit, trailing 33-24 heading into the finale.
Foul shooting turned around to help River View in the third. After connecting on only 5-of-14 charity tosses in the first half, the Lady Raiders made 5-of-9 in the third, while Mount View came up empty on six free throw tries in the third.
The senior leadership of Chelsey Dobbs and Sissy Waldron accounted for six and five points respectively during that eight minute stretch for River View.
Foul woes played havoc with the Mount View inside game in the fourth as first Brown and then Younger fouled out.
Quick to take advantage of a void inside, the Lady Raiders time-and-again passed to the wing and then inside for close range scores.
Mount View led 42-35 with 2:56 showing in the contest before Dobbs knocked down four straight points, followed by a pair of Waldron freebies to close to 42-41 at the 1:32 mark.
Johnson sank one foul shot at the 1:21 juncture for the Lady Knights and Victoria Bright did likewide some 35 ticks later to stretch the lead back to three, at 44-41.
Dobbs, who made all eight of her free throw attempts, knocked home a pair with 28 seconds showing.
Mount View turned the ball over on a double dribble at the 24.3 mark and Dobbs driving goal exactly eight seconds later gave the Lady Raiders the lead, their first since the opening quarter.
That set the stage for the game winning heroics, as Belfiore brought the ball down the court against the River View press, pulled up and found Johnson just to the left of the basket.
The "Queen of the Castle" corralled the pass and laid the ball in for the victory.
Dobbs, who made a 58 footer at the buzzer to beat Mountain Mission earlier this season, tried one from 56 feet away, under defensive pressure, and the shot fell harmlessly short as time expired.
Belfiore paced the now 12-6 Lady Knights with 16 points, while Younger contributed 13.
Dobbs also scored 16 for River View, with Waldron concluding with a dozen.
Mount View will face PikeView Tuesday in the semi-finals of the sectional, with James Monroe playing Bluefield in the other game that night, at Princeton High School.
The finals will be Thursday night, also at Princeton.
At Mount View High School
RIVER VIEW (6-16)
Brittany Coeburn 0 1-2 1, Chelsey Dobbs 4 8-8 16, Kiersten Dority 3 2-6 8, Ellamae Johnson 1 0-0 2, Rebekah Christian 0 1-4 1, Sissy Waldron 4 4-8 12, Akasa Benton 1 3-6 5. Totals 13 19-34 45.
MOUNT VIEW (12-6)
Ashleigh Belfiore 7 1-2 16, Jordan Younger 6 1-4 13, Shyrell Johnson 0 1-2 1, Shamecca Perkins 2 0-0 4, Gezelle Brown 2 2-6 6, Victoria Bright 0 1-4 1, Jasmine Lash 0 0-2 0, Keisha Johnson 2 1-3 5. Totals 19 7-23 46.
River View............................9 2 13 21 — 45
Mount View.........................12 13 8 13 — 46
Three Point Goals: RV 0, MV 1 (Belfiore 1).
Fouled Out: RV (Johnson), MV (Younger, Brown).